CHRB Report on Santa Anita Deaths Expected in December

CHRB Investigation has continued with the L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

The California Horse Racing Board issued a statement Oct. 24 that it expects to release in December a summary report from its investigation into the equine racing and training fatalities that occurred during Santa Anita Park's winter/spring meet.

During that meet, which ended June 23, there were 30 equine deaths that led to the closure of the Arcadia, Calif., track through a portion of March as the racing surfaces were examined and widespread media attention and political pressure ensued as a result of the fatalities.

An official investigation was launched by the CHRB and has continued in partnership with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

According to the statement, CHRB veterinarian Dr. Alina Vale will be responsible for coordinating information and drafting a report focusing on the injuries.

"While the CHRB requires necropsies on all horses that die at facilities within its jurisdiction, the unusual clustering of fatalities in January and February and into March prompted this more exhaustive examination into those deaths," the statement continued. "Veterinary personnel, safety stewards, and others involved in track safety have been accumulating and analyzing the information to come to an understanding of how each death occurred in order to identify any common characteristics or causes and develop strategies for preventing similar injuries in the future. This is the report that the CHRB will issue in December.

"The report will include findings from the ongoing CHRB investigations, which are still underway. CHRB investigators have issued more than 120 subpoenas for records and are continuing to review all cases for any CHRB rule or criminal violations. If their investigations result in a complaint or complaints, the complaint(s) will be made public. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has undertaken a parallel investigation."

The pace at which fatalities have occurred at Santa Anita has slowed over the second half of the year after strict safety protocols were instituted. The track had its 34th fatality since the winter Oct. 19 when 3-year-old gelding Satchel Paige was euthanized because of an injury. 

Santa Anita is the host track of the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2.